Name this Chinese spice!

I avoided medicinal flavors before, too. On my first trip to China I always avoided the beef soup at a nearby restaurant because they always described it as medicinal. Then I tried it one day and it was spectacular. I guess almost everything is good if made properly.

I couldn’t find the exact spice mix I bought, but the contents were similar to this one:

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Medicinal and tasty, that’s surprising too… because I always think they tasted strong and bitter.

Interesting, is the mix for a special dish?

The mix is for soup.

Haha, no luck identifying the left two herbs. Everyone discussed it for at least 20 minutes. Of course, the far left one is a root, but they said the writing 山参 doesn’t make sense(?!). I’ll have to ask some contacts back in China.

I see 山, not sure what is the second word, if it’s 山参, it’s precious, they wouldn’t display it like that, even the cheap ones, I think.

How about 山奈 (galangal)?

Possible, but it would be different than galangal I’m used to. Also possible it changes when dried like that.

Yeah, the one I know looked more yellowish when dried.